A second grader at Sawgrass Elementary School in Sunrise, Fla., who didn’t have the parental consent form to be in his class photo was nevertheless included, but in a way that has shocked school officials and the boy’s parents, WPLG TV reports.
Per the elementary school’s request, The Huffington Post blurred the faces of the other students in the photo, but the second grade boy can still be seen with a crude, brown-colored, smiley face placed over his face.
“It was totally inappropriate,” Broward School District spokeswoman Marsy Smith told WPLG.
Smith also said Sherry Rose, the school’s principal, was shocked when she first saw the photo.
“She was very, very upset and immediately took action to reschedule a picture-taking session for Thursday.”
According to the Sun-Sentinel, some parents already received prints of the offensive photo, but they will soon receive a free replacement.
While the photographer, David Claussen, would not agree to go on camera, he told WPLG that he never meant to cause such controversy and that he was only following orders.
Claussen said, according to the station, that when he asked the school’s P.T.A. how he should handle the student — since he was sitting in the front row and didn’t have a consent form– they requested he place the smiley over his face, instead of a star Claussen reportedly recommended.